Participants of a virtual seminar organized here today on the occasion of the National Paddy Day have underscored the use of renewable energy technology for modernization of agriculture sector. Organized by the Renewable Energy Confederation of Nepal (RECON), the participants have pressed for attracting youths in agriculture sector and preventing the possibility of food crisis emanating from COVID-19. Stating that the energy was a must for production, processing, storage and distribution of agro products, they univocally argued that ‘Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali’ motto would only be realized when agriculture sector was commercialized.
Former Minister for Agriculture Janardan Sharma opined that appropriate technology must be employed to yield desired amount of agro products to prevent food-crisis. He viewed that food production would be doubled by ensuring irrigation facility to the arable land. Furthermore, he suggested government to consider job creations for those Nepali youths returning from foreign following the COVID-19 pandemic and mobilize them into agriculture sector. Similarly, former Minister Ganesh Shah argued that the youth would be attracted to agriculture sector if the government acknowledged agriculture occupation as a dignified job. He batted for providing quality seedlings, manure to the farmers and provide them with trainings and exposure visits besides ensuring hassle-free loan for them to convert subsistence-based farming to commercial agriculture.
Likewise, energy expert Prof Dr Jagannath Shrestha shared that altogether one million hectare of land in Terai, Mountain and High Hill areas of the country lacked irrigation facility and suggested to use solar electric pumping system to achieve greater yield. According to him, renewable energy technologies were the best viable alternative to achieve food security. Alternative Energy Promotion Centre’s Madhusudan Adhikari spoke of the need to end dependency on fossil source of energy in agriculture and embrace renewable energy technologies. According to him, his Centre was running various programmes related to renewable energy technologies.
RECON President Gunaraj Dhakal pointed out the need to employ renewable energy technologies to increase food production to ensure food for all. Energy expert Dr Indira Shakya stressed on formulating gender responsive policies. Urging to adopt gender-friendly approaches while employing gender-friendly renewable energy technologies, she said that women, impoverished and marginalized communities must be prioritized to further strengthen agriculture profession.